The Promotion Team had a bit of a discussion the other about the Haiku download experience, with @shaka444 pointing out that the current downloads page at https://www.haiku-os.org/get-haiku/r1beta2/ may be confusing for a first-time visitor. He recommends that links to download the latest stable version as well as the nightlies be added to the top of the downloads page, which could be something like this:
Click here to download Beta 2 (Stable Official Release)
x86 (for older machines and BeOS compatibility)
x86_64 (for newer machines but may not run some BeOS software)
Click here to download Nightly (Cutting edge, but possibly less stable)
We could make some buttons based on the current download now button on the Haiku homepage to spice things up a bit. Since there are multiple download mirrors, we could implement some sort of script which would determine the best available mirror to download Haiku from upon clicking the proposed new buttons.
Additionally, just some other things I’ve noticed about the Haiku downloads experience (both for stable and nightly):
- The header in the table showing the download mirrors on the and links doesn’t display correctly when in dark mode.
- The Nightly download pages (which are, from my understanding generated separately from the main site using a different generation method), aren’t visually consistent with the main site and use different fonts (AFAIK the fonts change based on what platform you are viewing the site on), and don’t have an auto light/dark mode - not too sure if this is intentional by design, but should we perhaps consider making these pages more consistent with the main site? Also, I’ve noticed the downloads pages do not have a favicon - might be good to add one.
- The “Nightly Images” tab on the main site (in the same tab group where you can view the latest Source and Ticket updates etc.) doesn’t do much but provide a link to the Nightly download pages. It would be nice if a script was written so the tab displays a list of the most recent nightly images and when they were built (similar to the “Packages” tab)
- The Raw Images column in both 32-bit and 64-bit nightly downloads pages is blank - is this intentional? Have we stopped providing raw image files? Maybe it might be a good idea to remove that column if that is the case?
- It would be good on the Nightly pages if we could add “direct download” buttons (one for 32-bit and one for 64-bit), that when clicked would download the latest Nightly image instantly - it would be faster for people who just want the latest Nightly image.